Mike Huckabee visits families of abducted teens
Huckabee: 'If you hurt that kid, you don't want to know what we will do.'; calls for ultimatum on UN: 'Jackhammer that thing right off the edge of Manhattan.'
Former Republican presidential contender and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is not one to mince words. Wearing a yellow ribbon pinned to his suit as a gesture of solidarity with three Israeli teenagers abducted by terrorists, he demanded that President Obama speak out against the kidnapping. One of the missing, Naftali Frenkel, is a dual American-Israeli citizen.
Linda Gradstein/The Media Line and Aryeh Savir/Tazpit News Agency
“We must tell them that if you kidnap an American citizen, all bets are off. We will find you and we will get you,” Huckabee said. “And if you hurt that kid, you don’t want to know what we will do.”
Mike Huckabee voicing support and solidarity with abducted Israeli teens. (Photo: TazpitNews Agency)
Huckabee visited Frenkel’s mother, Rachel, saying, "I went to offer support, to give them strength," Huckabee told reporters, "and I went away with them giving me strength. They are a remarkable family, a family of faith, and their faith gives them a real sense of optimism."
The meeting came as part of a wider tour of Israel and just before the mothers of all three of the teens flew to Geneva to make an impassioned appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the world to do more to find the kidnappers.
“I believe much more can be done and should be done by so many,” said Frenkel emotionally. “That is why we three mothers have come here today before the United Nations and before the world to ask everyone to do whatever they can to bring our boys back. It is wrong to take children, innocent boys and girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel.”
Huckabee, who served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, had harsh words for President Obama, who has not yet made a statement of condemnation against the incident that has riveted Israel for the past 12 days.
“I wouldn’t send out some third-tier State Department spokesman with an absolutely embarrassing quote saying we hope both sides will show restraint,” Huckabee said angrily. “One side is a kidnapped child. The other side is a kidnapper. There are only two sides here – evil and good.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, is responsible. The kidnapping came just ten days after a new unity government between Hamas, and Fatah, which controls the West Bank, was signed.
“Any American who values freedom and hates terrorism has to feel appalled at the unity government – Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Huckabee told The Media Line. “The moment the deal was signed the US should have made sure that was the last dime given to this government. It is beyond my understanding why the world has not condemned this government.”
Huckabee said he first came to Israel in September 1973, at age 17, just before the October (Yom Kippur) War. He also visited Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Greece in a trip he described as “life-changing.” Since then, he’s visited other countries in the Middle East including Afghanistan and Iraq, but says “there’s never been any place on earth that’s quite so captivating as Israel.”
Huckabee said he has not decided whether or not to run for president in 2016 and said he is concentrating on trying to regain control of the Senate for the Republicans this year. He said Hillary Clinton would be a “formidable” opponent but that she must take responsibility for US foreign policy mistakes.
“I had some pro-Hillary people on my show this week,” he said referring to his show on Fox TV. “And I asked them to name one country with which the US has a better relationship today than it did six years ago, and they couldn’t. Israel? Iraq? Russia? Heavens no! North Korea? Japan? Finally one of them said, ‘Canada.’”
As journalists chuckled, he said, “Yes, that was my reaction too. I laughed.”
Huckabee also had some unique ideas for what to do with the United Nations, which he called “worthless.”
The American president “should pick up the phone, call the UN and say: ‘You got 24 hours, you condemn (the abduction) or start packing your stuff and everybody gets a parking ticket in Manhattan.’ No more free rides here, something’s got to give. It’s out of control.”
He said he was disappointed with the UN response to the kidnapping. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon expressed concern over the “increased violence, mass arrests and restrictions on (Palestinian) movement in the West Bank.”
“The UN has become a forum for anti-Semitic hatred and bigotry, and for, frankly, anti-American hatred and bigotry,” Huckabee said. “This may be one of those times: get out the jackhammers, jackhammer that thing right off the edge of Manhattan, float it into the East River and invite anybody who’d like it to come and take it and tow it home.”
Regarding the Presbyterian Church’s decision to boycott companies providing services in Judea and Samaria, Huckabee shared that he was embarrassed by the decision, calling it absurd.
"Who can possibly be behind such an absurd decision that has no basis in good policy, good economics, or good sense?" Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, believes that this decision, together with other factors, is bringing to the decline of the Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Joseph Frager, one of the organizers of the Huckabee visit, told Tazpit News Agency: "Governor Huckabee is the best friend Israel has had. I think that if he chooses to be one of the candidates for presidency I think he will do great."
"I think he has what it takes, the right stuff. I believe that if he chooses this path he will be successful. He has tremendous respect for the Jewish People; he has tremendous respect for Israel.”
Re-published with permission from Tazpit News Agency and The Media Line